IBO boss hails sa boxers
IBO president Edward Levine said watching South African boxers continue to succeed in the organisation means the world to him.
The Florida-based body formed in 1988 has crowned more than 20 South African champions over the past decade and many of them went on to achieve worldwide fame.
''I am pleased and honoured to be associated with South African boxing," Levine said yesterday.
''My reflections and memories on doing business in South Africa have been a source of great honour and pride to myself and my organisation."
Levine, who was inducted to the Florida hall of fame last year, is a former boxing judge and a leading advocate for the rights of boxers. He played a part in the thrilling heavyweight championship fight between Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman in South Africa in 2001.
That bout was staged by Golden Gloves and favourite Lewis went on to lose his world titles, including the IBO belt, to the less fancied Rahman.
''It was a night to remember and the entire world saw a South African promotion at its very best," reminisced Levine.
''The relationship between the IBO and Golden Gloves, particularly my personal relationship with promoter Rodney Berman, is exceptional. As you know, the business of boxing can be a difficult one, but after over two decades of doing business with Rodney, I can truly say that he is the exception. He is a man of integrity. I might add that his entire team follows his lead. Professionalism and reliability are the operative words."
Levine added that boxing in South Africa has a tradition of producing hard-fighting boxers who are driven to succeed.
''The discovery of these diamonds is a source of pride for me. Two of my favourites from the past have been Silence Mabuza and Cassius Baloyi. They both met the very best, defended their IBO belts multiple times and displayed their talents around the world," he said of the retired boxers who were trained by Nick Durandt.